Peace without borders: Juanes in Havana: A crazy war on stage

From Havana, Cuban singer and composer Amaury Pérez Vidal, one of the organizers, told The Associated Press that there is a "crazy and media war" against the show.

According to Amaury, the they didn't receive any condition on what to say or to who to invite to the event. "Nobody comes to sing to the Cuban system. Juanes is not communist, he is not socialist. He doesn't have ideological coincidences of any type with us. Juanes is an arbitrator to which has been happened a beautiful idea and our people thanks him", Pérez said in interview with AP.

"All the time they accuse us that the Cubans have the tendency to politize everything and in this case I can assure him, because I have been in all the artistic preparing meetings, that there has not put any political condition", Pérez expressed.

"Juanes requested free entrance, free entrance will be for all the Cubans. Anybody has has been asked about its political ideas or what he plans to speak. The only limitations of the artists are those coming from their own conscience", said Amaury.

The concert is scheduled for September 20 in the Havana's Square of the Revolution and the arrangements are advanced. More than 500 or 600 000 people could be able to attend the show and several American or other TV companies can take the signal and forecast freely without exclusivities.

Juanes will be presented next to the Spanish Miguel Bosé, the Cuban Silvio Rodríguez and the popular salsa orchestra The Van Van, same as some American artists, not confirmed, yet.

CULTURAL INTOLERANCE FROM MIAMI

This is not the first evidence of cultural intolerance coming from Miami regarding Cuba. In 1991 the Cuban American National Foundation (CANF) set great political and economic pressures over the Miami Dade County to pass a bill forbidding the performance of any Cuban artists there.

In 1993, a picture by Cuban painter Manuel Mendive, (Pavorreal), was burned in public in Miami and in July 1996, a Molotov cocktail was thrown against the place where the Cuban vedette Rosita Fornes was about to perform.

A bomb threat also forced to suspend a concert by Cuban Stars of the Buenavista Social Club, in 1998, and the famous orchestra Van Van performed under great tension in the Arena Coliseum of Miami, after concluding a 25 North American cities tour.

Now with Juanes a new "hunt of witches" seems to be in progress, in this case Havana targeted. Hopefully the singer explained he stays firm in his is decision, despite he lives in Miami with his wife and daughters.

In an interview with Univision, Juanes explained that before going to Cuba, he asked for support to US State Secretary Hillary Clinton and the Cuban counterparts. He also said that political shades will be out of that concert, the artists will have "open microphone" and available broadcasting for TV and Internet. In something similar to an apologize, he pointed this as a "white concert". The artists will finance the event and there is no economic interest.

Juanes is clear about that a concert doesn't make peace itself, neither it will change the concept of freedom and dignity of millions. He said that going to Cuba " is a symbol and it is time of changing minds. Cuba is not only the government. Cuba is 11 millions of Cubans."

The Caribbean Island won't change its political system neither to accept blackmailing for a concert. Political pressure against Cubans have failed for years, and there have been remarkables events as the visits of Pope Juan Pablo II; former US President James Carter and dozens of US senators and religious leaders.

The images of Martí and Che Guevara have not been removed at the Havana's Revolution Square for that reasons. So if Juanes finally achieves his goal, he'll find a a respectful and educated people joinning him and his guests to deserve and enjoy art and peace for all.

US ARTISTS FOR A RE-OPENING OF EXCHANGES

During the last years some US artists (singers, filmakers, writers…) have visited and performed in Cuba, but legal regulations still valid forces them to ask for permissions to the US Department of Treasure. On March 3, 2009 more than 1 300 US citizens, artists and intellectuals) sent an important request to President Obama.

In a letter to Obama (http://www.cubaresearch.info/cubaletter2009), artists, arts presenters, arts educators, cultural entrepreneurs and scholars, and cultural heritage and policy professionals from diverse political persuasions, have declared adversely affected by the cultural embargo imposed by the U.S. government against both Cuban and American artists and cultural institutions.

The request is that you make concrete changes in U.S. policy towards Cuba that will allow for the uninhibited flow of art, culture, information, ideas and debates, as well as travel by artists, cultural workers and professionals, and arts and cultural aficionados between the two countries.

A similar petition to Bush Administration in 2007 fell on deaf ears, so they expect now a different answer from Obama's Administration, taking leadership and re-open the pathways of exchange. "We look forward to working with you to advance the interests of the United States and of Cuba".

Link to report on http://www.cubanow.net/pages/loader.php?sec=17&t=2&item=7563